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Wisdom teeth eruption or removal has become a young adults right of passage into adulthood in recent years. Most parents are well aware of the need to remove those pesky wisdom teeth long before they present a problem. Dentists are likely to recommend that wisdom teeth be removed before they become an issue. However, for those that do not have them removed or do not receive regular dental care, it is important to know the warning signs of problematic or impacted wisdom teeth.

Solving The Impacted Wisdom Tooth

The most common treatment to care for a wisdom tooth is to remove it from the mouth. Wisdom teeth do not fit in most people’s mouths. Our jaws are able to hold at maximum 28 teeth (counting the wisdom teeth we develop 32 teeth) usually. There are some exceptions but generally there is little room for the wisdom teeth as they develop and attempt to erupt into the mouth.

Wisdom teeth removal is can be done at a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office using just local or if necessary general anesthesia. Since the removal of wisdom teeth is considered oral surgery there are risks involved. These can include nerve damage, excessive bleeding, and possibly bone or teeth fractures. It becomes even more complicated if the wisdom tooth is impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the tooth is encased in bone and never erupts fully into the mouth.

An impacted wisdom tooth may partially erupt so that only a portion of the tooth is visible (referred to as partially impacted), or it may never break through the gum tissues (fully impacted). Whether partially or fully impacted, the tooth may:

-Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar)

-Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth

-Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone

-Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the bone

Signs And Symptoms Of An Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms. However, when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages other teeth or causes other dental problems, you may experience some of these signs or symptoms:

-Pain at the back of the mouth, behind the molars. This pain will gradually increase with time as the wisdom teeth continue to grow in misaligned or sideways, pressing on nerves and bone, and crowding surrounding teeth.

-Red or swollen gum tissues

-Tender or bleeding gum tissues

-Inflammation (Swelling) around the jaw. Oral infections are common with wisdom teeth attempts at eruption. Bacteria can build up in the area where the tooth is attempting to erupt creating a buildup of oral bacteria which can lead to infection. If left untreated, this will affect both your dental and general health.

-Unexplained Bad breath (Halitosis)

-A weird taste in your mouth

-Headache

If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can develop into cysts and, in rare cases, tumors.

Possible Impacted Wisdom Teeth Complications

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause various problems in the mouth. These can include:

-Damage to surrounding teeth. If the wisdom tooth presses against the second molar, it may damage the roots of the second molar or make it more prone to infection. This pressure can also cause problems with crowding of the other teeth necessitating the possible need for orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth in the future.

-Cyst Develop. The wisdom tooth grows in a sac within the bones. This sac can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage the bone, teeth and nerves. In rare cases a tumor can develop. Luckily, it is usually a noncancerous tumor. The development of a cyst or tumor may require removal of tissue and bone.

-Tooth Decay. Partially impacted wisdom teeth tend to be at an increased risk for tooth decay. This is because wisdom teeth are more difficult to keep clean and because food and bacteria get easily trapped between the gum tissue and a partially erupted tooth.

-Periodontal Disease. The difficulty of cleaning impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth also makes them an increased risk for the development of a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Conclusion

You should schedule an appointment to see your dentist if you experience pain, swelling or other symptoms mentioned above in the area behind your last molar that may be related to an impacted wisdom tooth. Maintain regularly scheduled dental appointments for dental examinations and professional cleanings to catch any issues before they develop further. Regularly updated dental X-rays may indicate impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms develop.

In today’s modern world, dentistry comes in all forms. How do you know which dentist is right for you and your growing family? There are various specialties in dentistry and many of them overlap between different populations of patients. This overlap is very pronounced between family dentists and pediatric dentists. If you have  children, do you choose a dentist for yourself and a different one for your children?

What Is Family Dentistry?

Family dentists are trained to treat patients of all ages. Family dentists care for your child’s baby teeth, older child’s mixed dentition, adult teeth, and senior dental care. Everyone in the family going to the same dentist can be quite convenient. A child can become easily acclimated to the family dentist by simply watching and modeling another family member. It is usually a very easy transition.

Family dentistry provides preventative dental care, such as regular professional cleanings and oral cancer screenings, and other basic dental care that may be needed. It is important to schedule regular appointments for checkups, so that your dentist can catch any problems before they require the care of a specialist like an oral surgeon or orthodontist. Specialists offer advanced services like treatment of difficult root canals, periodontal surgery, bone surgery, braces, etc. While specialists are still used routinely many of these procedures can be done at the family dental practice. Most dentists will also take x-rays of the teeth on a timely basis to examine for cavities, TMJ problems, diseased tissues, and infection. Your family dentist can fill the cavities, use dental sealants to help to prevent cavities, monitor growth and development to evaluate need for braces, tooth extractions, etc.

If you see your dentist every six months, you will be less likely to have severe breakdown and tooth loss. Your family dentist is trained to help you keep your teeth healthy and can even provide cosmetic dentistry services to keep your smile bright and healthy. Your dentist will educate you and give recommendations for brushing, flossing and rinsing to prevent plaque and tooth decay between appointments. Finding a family dentistry practice that your whole family is comfortable with can take a lot of stress out of making and keeping your regularly scheduled appointments with a variety of dentists.

What Is Pediatric Dentistry?

Where a family dentist will see patients from age 2 to 102, pediatric dentists only see patients from approximately 2 to 18 years old. The pediatric specialty is only related to a young population and does not offer many advanced services of dental care for permanent teeth. Root canals, crowns, impacted teeth, and braces are generally not treated by a pediatric specialist. Many of the services offered do overlap with the family dentist such as x-rays, exams , fillings, sealants, dental cleanings, tooth extractions, baby root canals/crowns, space maintaining appliances. The Pediatric dentists role is important for patients who need specialized care like children with disabilities, those that need sedation, children with severe, full mouth breakdown, and those with behavior issues.

Conclusion

When making the choice between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist, it comes down to you and your child’s comfort levels. Feeling scared or uncomfortable in the exam chair or being scared of the dentist can ruin a child’s confidence and create a situation of dental anxiety or dental phobia. A good dentist, whether family or pediatric, will understand your child’s needs, make the experience a good one, and give great dental treatment. You want a dentist who will  provide a smooth, positive experience so that the little patient is motivated to continue good oral hygiene habits and regular appointments. When she/he is older and has to make health decisions on his/her own, they should have learned to establish a rapport and ease with their dentist. Choose wisely, but realize that a pediatric dentist may or may not be the best choice for your little ones if you have a good family dentist now.

Most family dentists will be happy to see your child even just to meet them and bring them back to get comfortable with the office.If you already have a family dentist that is experienced and willing to take on young children, you may want to start out in this environment to save the the hassle of going between various offices. Selecting a dentist who will treat your child throughout his or her growth has its distinct advantages, and a steady knowledge of patient history is one of them.  Family dentistry is a good choice for many due to the ease of having everyone in the family treated by the same doctor or at least in the same office.

When making any decision for your family it is always best to be informed and have options. There are many dentists with varying personalities, abilities,and skill levels. Find the one that fits you best, and you and your family will be much happier with your choice!

Dental Implants were not always such a mainstream fixture in dentistry. There was a time when dental implants were for all practical purposes experiments in seeing what worked and what did not. In the last 15 years we have really entered a new age with dental implants being almost routine in their nature now. Most dentists cannot imagine a day without them anymore as a treatment for our patients.

Dental Implants are an artificial tooth root that a dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon inserts into your jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or teeth(bridge). Dental implants are the perfect option for people with good oral health maintenance who are missing one tooth or multiple teeth due to periodontal disease, via trauma, or some other reason.

Dental Implants use the most modern materials that dentistry has to offer. Years and years of research have gone into the dental implants in use today. Dental implants are much more tooth friendly than traditional bridgework. Dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support nor do the neighboring teeth need to be prepared to be part of the bridgework.

With optimal conditions and in the hands of a skilled dentist, dental implants can look as natural as your own teeth. Only you and your dentist would ever know you even have one. This gives patients the utmost in self confidence giving them the ability to broadly smile as well as eat as they choose. People missing teeth are generally self conscious about their smile and appearance. Following successful placement and restoration, dental implant patients can expect them to last a lifetime if they maintain good oral hygiene.

Modern dental implants can play a few roles in tooth or teeth replacement. These include:

-Replacement of one or more teeth without affecting the neighboring teeth.
-Act as support for a bridge. This will eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
-Provide support and stability for a denture. Attaching a denture over dental implants make the denture more secure and comfortable. This is also called an implant supported overdenture.

Dental Implants and their advantages over Traditional Dentistry

-Cosmetics. When done properly dental implants will look and feel like your own teeth. Another plus is that since dental implants are placed directly in bone they prevent bone loss and gingival recession that happens over time in areas where teeth are missing. No one but you and your dentist will ever know you have a dental implant.

-Dental Implants allow conservation of tooth structure. Dental implants allow the dentist to save your adjacent teeth from preparations. A traditional bridge requires the preparation of neighboring teeth. Utilizing dental implants is a long term benefit to the patients dental health by saving their natural tooth structure.

-Self Confidence. The wonder of dental implants is that they allow patients to talk and eat full of self confidence. Dental implants offer security and freedom.

implant dentistry

Dental implants Diagram

-Highly Predictable. Dental implants have had a long track record of a very high success rate. Due to this they are an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Treatment

Any treatment for dental implants begins with a thorough examination to develop a proper treatment plan.  Without a good game plan the treatment will be doomed to fail.

As mentioned earlier, dental implants are ideal in the following situations:

-Single tooth replacement. Dental implants are an ideal option for patients with the quantity and quality of bone necessary to hold an implant. The dental implant will allow you to maintain the natural tooth structure of adjacent teeth while replacing a lost tooth.

-Multiple teeth replacement. Dental implants are also ideal in this situation. If you are missing several teeth, implant supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

-Replacing all your teeth. If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant supported full bridge or full denture (also called an implant overdenture) can replace them. This renders traditional dentures to the curb as dental implants used in this fashion will be more stable allowing patients to eat and talk as if they have their own natural teeth.

In some cases, patients will need help to allow for placement of dental implants. Luckily, modern dentistry has developed a few procedures to “help” patients along. These include:

-Sinus Augmentation.  Dental implants need a good quantity of bone along with good quality of that bone to succeed. The upper jaw is known to have poorer quantity and quality bone structure as opposed to the lower jaw. The maxillary sinus also plays a role in increasing difficulty in this area. Sinus augmentation can remedy these issues by raising the sinus floor and placing bone grafts in the area to aid in dental implant placement.

-Ridge Modification. When the bone is not 100% adequate for dental implant placement, dentists are able to make it perfect by performing a dental bone graft. A bone graft is the placement of bone in the jaw to to build it up. This gives an excellent platform for dental implants. Ridge modification has been shown to improve both appearance and long term success of dental implants.

Expectations of patient

Following placement of implants and restoration with crowns or dentures, patients can expect a life long restoration that will be stable and cosmetic. Just because these products are man made does not mean oral hygiene should be forgotten and neglected. Dental hygiene must be maintained at a high level if the patient wants to ensure these restorations last. Follow up dental visits are required just as if you had your own natural teeth. If dental implants are well taken care of the patient should expect them to last a lifetime!

Dental Implants have become one of the most popular, and predictable procedures for tooth replacement offered in dentistry. They have been proven to be safe and successful for long term replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants are an artificial tooth root (usually made of titanium) that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. What can dental implants do? They can replace a single tooth, be support for a bridge, or as support for a denture (making it more comfortable and secure).

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or any other reason. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone is needed to support the dental implants, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper oral hygiene is necessary for long term success. With technique and material advances, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Be upfront with your dentist regarding health issues. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who smoke. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental implant success is related to surgeon’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s oral hygiene maintenance. Failure of dental implants is usually due to the failure of the implant to osseointegrate (fuse with bone) correctly, or vice-versa. It is considered a failure if it is lost, mobile or shows marked bone loss around the implant. Dental implants are not susceptible to dental caries but they can develop a condition called Peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the gingival tissue and/or bone around the implant which may result in bone loss and eventual loss of the implant. It is usually associated with chronic infection. Peri-implantitis is more likely to occur in heavy smokers, patients with diabetes, patients with poor oral hygiene and cases where the gingival around the implant is thin.

More rarely, dental implants may fail because of poor surgical placement, not having enough bone healing prior to restoring with a crown or may be overloaded initially, causing failure to integrate. If smoking and positioning problems exist prior to implant surgery, dentists often recommend to patients that implants may not be the best option.Then they will recommend a bridge or a partial denture to replace the missing tooth.

Once restored, dental implants are very natural looking and the patient will not feel any difference after it is healed. You may even forget you ever lost a tooth in the first place. A person’s self esteem is definitely affected by his/her smile. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth.  Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure.  Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort  and confidence, there is good news!  Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions dental implants can last a lifetime.  Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for dental implants.

If you have lost a tooth or are facing tooth loss, you might wonder…….

Can I get dental implants? Ask your dentist, more often than not, the answer is yes!

 

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